Florida Weekly, May 9, 2011
This week's column focuses on activities to mark National Bike Month, the Ride of Silence, some upcoming runs, and an update on the Burton Park/Del Prado pedestrian safety issue.
May and it’s getting hot, but the daily thunderstorms won’t begin for a
while. Before they do, get out and ride your bike. And make it a trip
you’d usually take by car. If you’ve been doing that as part of “Taking
it to the Streets,” keep it up. Combine transit and cycling to maximize
Unfortunately, National Bike Month takes place at a time of year that
isn’t quite as attractive as it might be up north for first time bike
commuters or others who don’t regularly ride, but it’s still decent
enough to give it a shot. (the Florida Bicycle Association and other
organizations had previously been able to get March designated as
Florida Bike Month but our current elected leadership doesn’t seem
interested.) The Lee County Board of County Commissioners recognized
National Bike Month in a resolution at its May 1 meeting, something they
do each year, as do other local governments.
Some area activities
during the month include Ride of Silence, a slow and quiet ride meant to
commemorate those who died or were seriously injured while cycling.
Rides of Silence take place throughout the world on Wednesday May 16.
There are a few being held in Southwest Florida, with the Fort Myers
ride beginning at Centennial Park at 7 p.m. Sanibel and Bonita Bay also
take part. A full listing can be found at www.rideofsilence.org.
The League of American Bicyclists (www.bikeleague.org) has designated Friday, May 18, as the official “Bike to Work Day.” The idea is to
encourage everyone to give it a shot that day, especially those who
already make some trips on their bikes and who are thinking about
taking the next step: commuting to work by bicycle. If you’re a
candidate and need some route suggestions or other advice, feel free to
contact me at email@example.com.
After my last column about trail running I received an e-mail from
the executive director of the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed,
who informed me of the organization’s inaugural 10K Adventure Trail Run
to be held on Nov. 3. It’ll be a bare-bones event with no T-shirts or
other usual race paraphernalia so it is being billed as a “back to
nature” event. In fact, there’ll only be water refill stations for
runners to re-supply their own bottles so litter and the expense of cups
isn’t an issue. It’s also noted that the term “adventure” really means
wet and muddy. I like it! Plan to support this event and cause. CREW is
located near the Lee-Collier line not far from Immokalee. For more
information, visit www.crewtrust.org.
Another run that takes place off the pavement that’s coming up much
sooner is the annual Memorial Day Run on the Green. The race is run on
the back nine of Eastwood Golf Course, next to the Calusa Nature Center.
And since runners will be right next door, why not visit the nature
center’s trails, boardwalks, rescued wildlife facility and other
offerings? If you haven’t been there for a while, or, for that matter,
ever visited, Memorial Day would be a great time to experience this
oasis of nature and calm in the middle of the prime example of major
suburban sprawl that is the Colonial/ Ortiz/Six Mile/I-75/Forum area.
The city of Cape Coral and many residents and safety advocates
continue to press the Lee County Department of Transportation to make
crossing Del Prado safe for pedestrians using Burton Park. LCDOT is
balking at installing a full-fledged traffic signal at the intersection
that’s closest to the park, citing lack of warrant (a technical term
meaning not enough vehicles are coming from the street intersecting Del
Prado). But its latest offer to install a mid block signal designed
specifically to accommodate pedestrian crossing — a HAWK — looks
promising. BikeWalkLee’s online blog (bikewalklee.blogspot.com) is the
place to go for updates on this and other such matters.
Until next time, I’ll look for you on the roads and trails.
— Dan Moser is a league cycling and CyclingSavvy instructor/ trainer
and programs director for the Florida Bicy cle Association who cycles,
runs and walks regularly for transportation, recreation and fitness. He
can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 334- 6417.